Thursday, August 18, 2011

ARP "Play the hell out of them" endorsement ad, Contemporary Keyboard 1977

ARP "Play the hell out of them" 2-page endorsement advertisement from page 16 and 17 in Contemporary Keyboard July 1977.

Gotta love the art of name-dropping. ARP wasn't the only ones doing it. Every company tried their best to associate their products with talented and famous musicians:
Sometimes the name dropping wasn't really official. For example, in the Moog Satellite reference sheet that mentions Goodman and Davis, I doubt these artists are endorsing the instrument. Instead, Moog is just strategically making the connection between the artist, the instrument, and most importantly, the reader.

But, let's face it, ARP was the ultimate name-dropper. It was a legit part of their ongoing marketing campaigns.

To give you an idea of how ingrained endorsements were to ARP, you just have to look at ARP's Wikipedia page and that long list of "Notable Clients" that today's Wikipedia contributors have made the effort to include there. Other companies like Moog had many notable clients back in the day as well, but it just wasn't as in-yer-face. The result was that it didn't become such a big part of what made Moog who they were, and so Wikipedia contributors have not made the same effort to include a big long client list on Moog's Wiki page. Hmmmm - not sure that thought translated from my brain to the post well... hope it made sense.

ARP takes this strategic name-dropping to the next level with this ad - and doesn't try and hide the fact these artists aren't necessarily endorsing their products. In fact, they have the balls to make note of it right in the ad title:
Not all of these artists "endorse" ARP synthesizers, they just play the hell out of them.
Awesome. And, to really make sure ARP is associated with the rocker elite, they throw in a naughty word while they are at it.

Just to be clear, I'm not coming down on ARP for this marketing tactic. In fact, just the opposite. That is an impressive list of musicians using ARP products, and gives ARP a legit reason to include this tag line at the bottom of the second page:
ARP. The number one sound around the world.
Arguable, but I'm a little biased towards Moog.

The design of the ad itself is also impressive with the way the first page looks like an album cover with a record sliding out onto the second page. It's a nice effect and ties in well with the musician's list.

Hmmm. Seems I've run out of things to say. Good thing too, because I'm on vacation, and just got invited to a weiner roast. Yum. I hope there's a frisbee.

End note: whenever I see that photo of Captain (from the Captain and Tenille), I can't help but think of Hefner wearing his captain's hat. Is that wrong?

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